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N.Y. Anticipated To Block Shell Broadwater project

WFSB.com Channel 3 Eye Witness News: N.Y. Anticipated To Block Broadwater

Connecticut AG: Decision Means Broadwater Must Be Rejected

POSTED: 9:39 pm EDT April 9, 2008
UPDATED: 11:17 pm EDT April 9, 2008

HARTFORD, Conn. — An anticipated decision by New York’s governor may likely sink a years-long proposal to build a liquefied natural gas terminal in Long Island Sound.

A published report on the Web site of Newsday Wednesday evening cited sources close to Gov. David Paterson as saying that he will announce Thursday afternoon his opposition to the Broadwater LNG Terminal proposal — a stance Connecticut officials have strenuously supported.

Watch Eyewitness News for the latest updates in this developing report.

Connecticut state leaders speaking with Eyewitness News late Wednesday night confirmed that they have received notification of the New York governor’s anticipated decision. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission voted in March to approve the project, which dismayed many Connecticut state leaders.

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who has long opposed the project, said he had planned to bring the FERC’s decision to court.

“This seems to be a very personal decision by Governor Paterson that Broadwater should not be built because it would industrialize the sound, endanger the environment and create a public safety mess,” Blumenthal told Eyewitness News late Wednesday night.

Blumenthal and Connecticut Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz told Eyewitness News they were informed of Paterson’s decision Wednesday evening. Bysiewicz issued a statement Wednesday evening praising the anticipated decision, saying her counterpart in New York notified her office of the decision shortly after 8:30 p.m.

Paterson’s office did not immediately release comment, saying the New York governor is scheduled to announce his decision at 2 p.m. on Thursday. Broadwater officials have said the company will withhold comment until the official announcement.

“New York has a final say on the coastal zone management issue and it has issued its verdict that Broadwater must be rejected,” Blumenthal told Eyewitness News.

Connecticut state officials have testified before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission against Broadwater, citing environmental, security and economic concerns.

“Today, New York and Connecticut stand united in their opposition to Broadwater,” Bysiewicz said in the statement. “This monstrosity should never be built. It is the wrong plan at the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Bysiewicz joined numerous other state officials in sending letters of concern to federal and New York state officials in opposition to the proposal.

“The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission must take a step back and look at the broader picture. Only then would it realize that approving the Broadwater LNG facility would be both irresponsible and reprehensible,” Bysiewicz wrote in a letter to federal officials in March.

The commission announced in January that it found no adverse environmental impact on the region if the terminal is built. The federal panel voted last month to approve the project, saying it would be the first floating terminal in the United States for storage and delivery of natural gas.

The $700 million terminal was proposed by Broadwater Energy, a consortium of Shell Oil and TransCanada Pipelines Ltd. The facility would be 10 stories high and as long as four football fields. It would be parked in New York waters about 10 miles south of New Haven and nine miles off Wading River, Long Island.

Proposed in November 2004, the terminal would supply 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day, enough to heat 4 million homes a year. The terminal would be about 1,200 feet long and 200 feet wide, with an 82-foot-high upper deck.

Most of the energy generated at the terminal would serve New York City, with the rest split between Long Island and Connecticut.

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